Porcelain vs Ceramic: Do you know which is best to use?

When you look at tile most people don’t know the different benefits between porcelain and ceramic just that they are similar but the price can be significant.

The clay used in manufacturing are different, as well as, the temperatures used to bake them. One of the biggest difference is how much water they absorb, this can be very important when selecting which one to install and where. Porcelain absorbs less than 0.5% and ceramic 1 – 3% water.

Which one works best for you?

If you are like most people sticking to a budget is very important and while flooring is important you can go a little on the inexpensive side, so ceramic can be extremely budget friendly with some less than a dollar at tile. Depending on the amount you want to spend ceramic will allow you to be very unique and creative with different colors and designs. Some porcelain tile can be inexpensive but you are not afforded the color or design unless you up the budget.

Where should you use porcelain?

Porcelain tile absorbs less than 0.5% moisture, it is dense, making it harder for moisture to penetrate it and basically making it almost waterproof. Because of these properties you would want this tile in all locations that have water or are damp, such as, bathrooms, kitchens, outdoor spaces and porches. Ceramic can be installed in bathrooms and many homeowners do but with porcelain’s waterproof properties this gives you the best option against moisture.

Laundry rooms and foyers are exposed to moisture from possible leaking washing machines to pets and people tracking in dirt and water from outside, because of these factors porcelain is the better option.

Tiling a high traffic areas with porcelain or ceramic is the better option as well because it is harder and denser that wood, laminate or carpet and provides a long-term solution to staining and scratching. If you are considering adding tile to your patio, pool, barbecue and balconies areas porcelain gives you a big advantage because of the waterproof properties. Ceramic will crack or shatter when exposed to the elements if you live in a colder climate.

Ceramic is still a good option in some areas over wood, laminate or carpet and works especially well for the DIY person. Ceramic is not as dense or hard as porcelain so it is easier to cut and install. If you plan on installing the tile yourself you will definitely want to go with tile unless you have a saw and drill designed to cut through porcelain.